I want to do some star trail and time lapse shoots this weekend and I have for the first time been looking into the interval shooting option on the Nikon D5100. I already understood that the interval time needs to be longer than the shutter speed so as a test I set the shutter speed to 30 seconds and the interval setting to 32 seconds. I said I wanted 3 shots.

I activated it and it took the first 30 second exposure, then seemed to sit around for another 30 seconds before taking a 2nd 30 second exposure and then decided it was done.

What I had hoped for was 3 x 30 second exposures with a 2 second gap between them. What have I done wrong to end up with such a big delay between exposures and then not even getting the requested number of shots?


The sitting around for another 30s is called dark-frame subtraction. You can turn it off in the menu under Long-Exposure or Slow-Shutter Noise-Reduction , I do not remember which it is called on the D5100. Essentially, the camera takes another shot with the shutter closed to characterize noise and then it substracts it to give you a theoretically cleaner image.

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